The Dallas Mavericks aren’t going to the playoffs this year, so that means they will enter the NBA Draft Lottery. What are their chances of snagging a good pick?
When the Dallas Mavericks traded for Luka Doncic in the 2018 NBA Draft, very few believed that there would be a Mavs first rounder selected in 2019. The team was assembled well and looked like they could be nearing a playoff berth if Luka Doncic panned out. Luka did indeed pan out quickly, but the Mavs had other moves in mind.
After the blockbuster trade for Kristaps Porzingis, Mavs fans realized that wins were going to be coming at a less frequent pace. As fun as it has been to get a better look at young guys like Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber and Ryan Broekhoff, they just don’t bring the same punch that Harrison Barnes, DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews can bring.
When the trade went through and the Mavs were still under .500, people realized quickly that a top five pick was a possibility. Anything outside of that was not going to happen thanks to the trade in the draft the year before. The Mavs may not have been actively losing games, but it didn’t take much to do so.
Currently, the Mavericks are sitting tied for the 6th worst record in the league with the Memphis Grizzlies. The teams currently ahead of Dallas are the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks.
The way this works is the draft lottery will determine who gets the first four picks, based on how the lotto balls come out. For that reason, the odds for the draft are in percentages for the top pick in the draft or somewhere in the top four.
The Mavericks are currently tied for the 6th spot. If this is where they stayed come draft day, they would have approximately an 8.2% chance of getting Zion Williamson with the top pick. After that, the Mavs have an overall chance of 34.4% to land within the top 4. If they do not get to 5th place in the tank standings by the end of the year, they have no shot at the 5th overall pick.
This all means that the Mavs have about a 1-in-3 chance to keep their pick. If they did manage to get to the 5th worst record in the league before the end of the year, their chance to end up in the top 4 goes up to 42.1% with an added chance to get that 5th overall pick. They would also have a 10.5% chance at the number one overall pick.
This is not to say that the Mavs should be fully embracing the tank for the last week and a half of the season, but it does give you an idea of what is at stake if things continue on their current trend. No matter what happens, the Dallas Mavericks still have Luka Doncic and that is the most important thing.